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A different take on the lives saved by the bomb

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by dash rip rock, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    The Japanese ex-patriates I worked with for years, all extremely educated people, were never instructed about WW II (in school) except for brief mentions of the ETO. Those who learned about the war mainly did so via their own research. My friend Itakura was a huge armor expert and modeler.

    He had nightmares about a Great Great Grandfather who had been a Samurai for one of the old warlords. The G G Grandfather had led a massacre in Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu, back in the day.
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I have read other similar accounts. However, I would argue that what is left out of history books is "writing history" as much as what is included. Perhaps there is an understandable sociological reason for leaving it out, but I was only interested in demonstrating that the defeated do write and sometimes rewrite history.
     
  3. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    This is similar to another thread on another bombing issue... Just so I understand...Lets say The axis won ww2... WW2 Forums is running today...Someone asks the question...was Goering a war criminal for his bombing of civilian cities...I don't know Who would ask that in Britain because the males would have been long gone..
    Someone else asks...Was the Rape of Nanking real...or a what if? We then stand back and wait for the knock on the door..or the jackboot through the cat flap...

    Just checking as Sosabowski said to RAF meteroligist before his drop at Arnhem...Who's uniform your wearing.
     
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  4. tomflorida

    tomflorida Member

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    Lets keep in mind that it was the Luftwaffe, as well as the Japanese, that first bombed civilian targets, first in Spain and then in Warsaw. They did it in the first days of war, esentialy made it a policy to kill thousands of civillians. The Allies at least did it only in the later stages of the war, after years of fighting, in response to the Axis refusal to surrender.

    And there were thousands if not millions of good guys during WW2 and thousands of bad guys. I would say the thousands of Canadian and US troops fighting to liberate Europe and Asia, would count to be the good guys.
     
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  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The other thing to remember is that we should not conflate the ideologies with the individuals. The ideologies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were bad. That does not mean that all Germans and Japanese were bad. However, their suffering or death ultimately must be laid at the feet of their respective governments.

    If a criminal is eluding police and causes a traffic accident in which someone is killed, who is to blame? The police or the criminal? If you think it's the police, don't tell that to them. They just might decide to finish their coffee before answering any 911 (USA emergency phone number) calls from your residence.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    While I agree with you Tommy, we must also take into account that many Germans and Japanese bought into information put out by their governments. Many Germans chose to ignore or plead ignorance to the Holocaust, despite evidence about the concentration camps in their midst. Likewise, many Japanese felt that their government was correct in pursuit of its aims. I don't pre-suppose that this amounted in any way to a majority, but enough followed along that the point should be made.
     
  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    We are in complete agreement, Lou. The point that I did not make very clear is that there is a tendency to say that the Allies were not good guys because some of their soldiers did bad things. Of course there were individuals who were just patriotic and didn't buy into the ideologies of the Axis. However, they must be judged individually. The existence of good, patriotic, non-ideological German soldiers doesn't mean Nazi Germany wasn't the bad guy in the War. And you are right, Lou. There were a whole lot of folks who "went along to get along", or worse, approved of that twisted ideology.
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    One thing to touch on is; There is no such animal as a "Clean War". The very nature of battle is to dominate by whatever means. The development of more destructive means of waging War leads to larger numbers of death in one fell-swoop. I have no doubts that had Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, Great Britain or any nation involved in WW2 been able to utilize a nuclear weapon they would have done so. Then it would have become just another escalation of who can kill more and how fast they could do it. War comes down to who has the largest 'casualties' in the shortest duration of time. Maybe I should say, the most overwhelming loses. (Gulf War 1 is an example). Two aircraft, two missions and two 'bombs' virtually ended WW2 but only after years of attrition. Compare that to the tens of thousands of aircraft, 100's of thousands of missions and multiple millions of personnel. Then again, had Japan been a stronger military force instead of the weakened Nation it had become, the War may very well have continued.
    For all those who try to paint this picture with a narrow brush and insinuate guilt for using a massive destructive force: You kick the Dog - Expect to get bitten!
     
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  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    You kick the Dog - Expect to get bitten!

    Bravo.....
     
  10. Gail P

    Gail P Member

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    These discussions could go round and round thru time, but the fact is -- once the bomb was tested, Truman was going determined to drop it on somebody and couldn't wait to do it. Even at a speaking engagement, when asked - "How long did it take you to make the decision to drop the bomb?" he said, "That quick!" and he snapped his finger.
     
  11. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    I will always come back and state some facts:

    1. Based on the assessment of the likely casualties on all sides of the conflict that was made by the allied powers which we can read about if we take enough interest, our leadership made the best decisions they could within the fog of war and happened to be pretty accurate with what they expected to happen.

    2. This leadership based on those figures that cannot be refuted but may be in small numbers adjusted based on more accurate post war assessments that did not alter the conclusive facts of the first figures.........therefore our leaders made nothing but HONORABLE decisions with what was done with the nuclear bombs. They could have used more bombs to be more persuasive and didn't. After you know the FACTS, perhaps a snap of the finger can easily bring you to the same conclusion. The decision was not made based on snapping fingers but on those assessments.

    3. Because I view war as a failure of civilized society to reach acceptable negotiations to solve a conflict you will always enter the arena of war with the conditions of war-- war is not defined by civilized actions that are agreed to ahead of time---it is defined by what is done in the particular conflict. What we did in the last war may not be what we do in the next war---what gets results is probably what we will do. That is the fact of war. I propose let us all learn as much as we can about the people we are likely to have differences with and see how many problems we can solve that way before we are taken to the brink of war where such activity is too late and too little. We are all better off if we do all that we can do in the prevention of war as very often war does not solve the causes of the differences but it may postpone the resolution of differences instead.
     
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  12. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Of course that "snap" included the months of study and conferences between the military, the production lines, and the scientists who developed it. The actual decision by Truman had probably been made long before the first one was tested as "proof of concept" for the implosion plutonium style.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Truman expanded on that later on, noting that when it came to the final decision to use the bomb there was no need to wonder, speculate or hesitate. He was as fully informed as possible and prepared to make the call when the time came for him to authorize its use.

    This is the problem with using sound bytes in lieu of studying.
     
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  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    As the US was averaging over a thousand casualties a day at the point in time when Truman made his decision a long period of introspection on his part could not be defended to the families on the homefront making the sacrifice. Emotionally we might wish he had to plumb the depths of his soul before giving his approval, but we elect* leader's to make these kind of choices for us when time and complexity make them unanswerable by referendum.

    *(Yes he was not elected President, but was elected as Vice President to a man who's health was visably failing and was a potential war-time leader)
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Truman may have made the decision in a "snap", but he knew what he was doing would have lasting consequences. He weighed the available data before making the decision. Having read several books about a possible invasion of Japan, this was the correct conclusion.
     

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